Last week, the number of downloads to Apple's iPhones and iPod Touches finally topped one billion. That is an impressive number coming from approximately 30 million devices in the market. 

The word "iPhone" in the title of any newspaper article or otherwise turns heads and sells. I would offer, however, that the impact of the iPhone and its potential have been under-hyped.  I believe that the impact on the industry is comparable to that of SMS.  May not seem that way today, but it will in the course of time.

Here is a partial list of what it has accomplished so far. Apple has:

– Taught carriers that they don't need to own the end customer experience to profit from those customers.
– Demonstrated that consumers will pay for an experience that is unique and extraordinary.  
– Shown carriers that they do well serving the average customer, but aren't equipped to serve each segment best.
– Taught consumers how to download applications to their cell phones.
– Taught consumers that their cell phones could do more than voice calls or text messaging
– Created a platform and a business model that is truly compelling to developers.
– Taught US consumers what "3G" is and accelerated demand for it.
– Weren't afraid to leverage their existing 60+ million billing relationships
– Shown us we don't need "open" for a great consumer experience
– Have ever consumer brand in the country thinking they need an iPhone application

I look forward to 3.0 and its possibilities.  I don't think enough is being said about what Apple has achieved.